Bejewelled buildings, pagodas of the Grand Palaces and Wat Pho Temple’s reclining Buddha are just one of the view reasons to visit Bangkok, Thailand’s capital. There is more to Bangkok than that. So, what is special in Bangkok, why is Bangkok good place to visit, what questions like what makes Bangkok so popular are just a few that I am going to cover below. When you finally visit Thailand’s capital, you will understand why this city has stolen many people’s hearts.
From temples, food, shopping, markets, and the people! This is city is lively and went beyond everything I had imagined about Bangkok. So, if you are on the fence about visiting hopefully the reasons to go to Bangkok outlined below will not only lay all your fears away about visiting but also inspire you to book your trip now! This is definitely one city you will want to visit more than once! Also look out for my post with city guide of where to stay in Bangkok and tips for different areas in the city.
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Things To Know Before You Visit Bangkok & Thailand
- About Bangkok: Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand with a population of 8.2 million. A thriving, bustling capital city catering to all kinds of tourists.
- Currency: The currency in Thailand is Thai Bhat.
- Tipping In Thailand: Most bills will include a service charge. Tips consisting of coins is considered offensive in Thailand.
- Climate: The climate in Thailand varies from North to South.
- Seasons: There are 3 seasons in Thailand with March to May reaching 40 degrees. June to October is the wet season and November to February is the cool season at 27 degrees.
- Bangkok people and population: Most people in Bangkok are of Thai ethnicity. The census does not request race or ethnicity and the city does not maintain information on ethnic composition. Bangkok is a truly cosmopolitan city, home to people from around the world. A recent census found the following populations also calling Bangkok home; 82k Japanese, 48k Europeans, 3k Africans, 56k Chinese and 5k Australians.
- What is Bangkok famous for? Bangkok is famous for its nightlife and the beautiful temples that tourist flock to every year. The most famous temples include Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Wat Phu Khao Thong, Wat Ratchanadda, Wat Traimit, Wat Benchamabophit, Wat Bowon, and Wat Sutat. Another thing that brings people to Bangkok is the cheap and lifestyle in the city. Its very cosmopolitan with pretty much verything you can find in the West but CHEAPER!!
- What to wear in public places and religious places: Respectable clothing is recommended for top hotels and restaurants. Revealing or skimpy clothing is forbidden in religious places. For tips on what to pack for Thailand, I have a post on the blog.
- At least one-quarter of Thailand is covered by rainforests with 11% of the country being National Parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
- The Chao Phraya River, ‘River of Kings’ is Thailand’s most important waterways and also used to find many of the growing rice fields as well as a means of travel for many in Bangkok.
- Thai boxing or Muay Thai is Thailand’s national sport. The sport is highly ritualistic and fights are often fierce and furious.
- Transportation in Bangkok: Taxis or minibusses take visitors directly to their hotels.
- Must see places in Bangkok and reasons people visit: The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo complex is the city’s premier tourist attractions. The Grand Palace is a must-see for visitors, with temples, considered once of the country’s most building buildings. Wat Arun(Temple of Dawn) is one of the city’s major landmarks with its monument symbolising Hindi- Buddist cosmology.
Five Reasons To Visit Bangkok In Thailand
If you are asking yourself “should I visit Bangkok” or just why visit Bangkok, there are plenty of amazing reasons to visit, from the many street vendors and restaurants to visit in Bangkok that offer finger licking delicious Thai bites to the amazing markets and malls to visit in Bangkok and explore for cool bargains to stunning temples to visit among many must-see places to visit in Bangkok. This is definitely one city with a wow factor! Below are five reasons to visit Bangkok:
Nothing beats tucking a hot and spicy authentic Thai dish as food in itself is among the top reasons to go to Bangkok. There are restaurants where you can purchase exquisite meals from; however, there is an option for street food. This is not just an option if you are on a low budget in Bangkok, street food in Bangkok is just as deliciously tasty as food in the fancy restaurants. Taste the Thai culture in every bite. You can find these food vendors in the markets, in busy areas and even in special stalls. The kinds of food prepared are Khao Mun Gai (Steamed chicken on rice), Khao Pad (Fried Rice), Som Tam (Papaya Salad), Pla Pao (Fishbarbecued in salt) and many other nutritious meals.
Other food includes: Tom Yum Goong (Spicy shrimp soup) contains so many ingredients such as lime juice, shallots, chili, lime leaves, galangal, fragrant lemongrass (which of course gives it the amazing aroma) and fish sauce. The Tom Kha Kai (Chicken in Coconut Soup) has a mix of fresh coconut taste with a spicy taste. The Gaeng Daeng (Spicy Curry) has a fresh and delicate taste and aroma, also likened to love and matters of the heart. Food is simply delicious in Thailand and different from one vendor to the next.
Bangkok is home to the 46m-long Reclining Buddha and one of Bangkok must do list items. The magnificent culture of Bangkok is explored along the cruise of the temples. There are over 400 temples to visit in Bangkok and the most popular ones are Wat Phra Kaew, also called the Temple of Emerald Buddha; Wat Pho, also called the Temple of the Reclining Buddha; and Wat Arun. Wat Phra Kaew is said to be the most visited because it is the most important temple in Bangkok. When entering the temple, there is a strict dress code: no wearing of short or revealing clothing. The Wat Pho is the seat of a thousand Buddha images and 91chedis.
Wat Traimit is a temple that is coloured white and gold, and it is known to be the most beautiful temple in Bangkok due to its magnificent architecture. Wat Prayoon was built during the era of King Rama III and has unique characteristics—a large upside down bell shaped chedi, a turtle mountain storing spirit houses and a pond where turtles are fed by visitors and tourists.
There are plenty of markets to visit in Bangkok, and for those wondering which kind of shopping Bangkok is famous for. You can sample it all. You can shop off the rack in highstreet and design boutiques, but you also have the option to have your own clothes made for a fraction of what you would pay in the UK. If you are one of those that loves a good retail therapy when you travel, you are in for a treat when you visit Bangkok. There are several malls and markets to visit.
Head over to Chatuchak weekend market, one of the world’s biggest markets, or check out Platinum Fashion Mall in central Pratunam which has several storeys of cut-price clothes and gadget stores. You also have Siam Mall with plenty of designer boutiques and many tailored clothing stores where we had the pleasure of having a couple of dresses and suits made for myself and my husband. Night Markets include Patpong Market and Rot Fai Market, amongst others.
In many places all over the world, night time is home time, but not always in Bangkok. The night marketers are ready to receive you and offer amazing goods for your consumption. There is nothing better than the Floating markets in Bangkok which include Band Ku Wiang Market, Tha Kha, Taling Chan Market and Damnoen SaduakMarket. These markets offer buyers food on boat tours. Enjoy fresh food such as vegetables, tropical and citrus fruits, local food from the floating kitchens and drinks such as fresh coconut juice and other fruit drinks. You also get to enjoy the cool atmosphere. Pratunam is known as the wholesale fashion shopping centre. It is the market where fashion designers and fashion lovers meet. You also get to bargain and try on clothes and accessories that you find attractive.
Bangkok is popularly known for its highly interesting nightlife activities, so once you have explored all the good places to visit in Bangkok, it is now time to experience the Thai capital at night. You get to experience cocktails at a rooftop bar, where you get to see the clouds up close while you sip on your cocktail. Places like Vespar Cocktail Bar, Smalls and Octave are just some of the cool bars to check out in the city. Bangkok also offers you Ladyboy Shows. These shows include ladies who are dressed up in spectacularly colourful costumes and innovative sets. They also include music that gets your eyes excited and fixed on the performances.
For the club and party lovers, Bangkok is also for you— enjoy exotic Night clubs such as Grease Nightclub, CeLa Vi Club Lounge, Demo Nightclub, amongst others. Many have a great atmpsphore and great people to hang out with. Yes, there is Jazz Live Music for lovers of Jazz music and those that love a bit of mellow chill. Spend your night in style while you visit a jazz bar featuring several artists. Some of the bears are SaxophonePub, Brown Sugar, and many more.
Relaxation & Recreation ( Think Thai Massages…)
One cannot visit Bangkok or Thailand in general without experiencing a massage in Bangkok. Whatever hotel you stay at they can either arrange one for you and in most cases, someone will come to you. For the recreation spots in Bangkok, you can enjoy cycling around the city. You can visit the Bangkok Metropolis by way of a 4-5-hour ride on a bicycle and discover the beauty of Bangkok. You get to explore the ecosystem of Bangkok on the Secrets of Siam boat tour. There are also cinemas and video game centres to catch fun, many found in malls.
There are amusement parks (Siam Park, etc) and public parks (Jatujak Park) for the family outings. Zoos, Gardens and Museums are plenty to explore, especially when you need to escape the city hustle. You also have Thailand Science Park, Siam Ocean World, Dusit Zoo, Rose Gardens and many more.
Best Seasons To Visit Bangkok
By far the best seasons to visit Bangkok or best month to visit in Bangkok are around UK winter. Visiting Bangkok in December, January, February, and March are by far the best months to visit Bangkok. December is warm and with 0 days of rain and January, February and March all have under 5 days of rainfall allowing you to explore at leisure without the dreaded rain we all try to escape from in the UK. This is exactly why Thailand had to be on my list of the Best Winter Destinations. The amazing weather is just another reason to visit Bangkok among the reasons listed above. Our visit to Thailand was in December, one of the most ideal times to visit Bangkok.
Where To Stay In Bangkok
We booked our stay in Bangkok and Phuket on my favourite hotel booking site; Booking.com. I will be sharing details from our stay in Bangkok shortly together with a guide to the best areas to stay in Bangkok. We had also considered Airbnb in Bangkok so you can also check out my post on some of the best apartments to stay in in Bangkok that dont blog the budget and come with amazing amenities and of course stunning views of Bangkok.
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